B-153614, MAR. 12, 1964

B-153614: Mar 12, 1964

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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 26. REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN ERRORS IN BIDS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE UNDER SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION INVITATION NO. 64-S1-927. UPON NOTING THAT THE TWO OTHER BIDS RECEIVED FOR ITEM NO. 17 WERE EACH IN THE UNIT PRICE OF $540. A REQUEST WAS MADE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO THE HAYNES CAMERA CENTER FOR A VERIFICATION OF ITS BID ON THESE TWO ITEMS. SIX OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR THE ITEM RANGING FROM $770 TO $895 EACH. IT IS NOTED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICE IMMEDIATELY SUSPECTED AN ERROR IN THE BID OF THE HAYNES CAMERA CENTER ON BOTH ITEMS NOS. 17 AND 61.

B-153614, MAR. 12, 1964

TO MR. A. W. WILDING, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 26, 1964, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO THE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN ERRORS IN BIDS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE UNDER SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION INVITATION NO. 64-S1-927, DATED JANUARY 22, 1964.

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION THE HAYNES CAMERA CENTER, SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, SUBMITTED A BID DATED FEBRUARY 10, 1964, OFFERING TO FURNISH, AMONG OTHERS, ITEM NO. 17, COVERING TWO DENSITIMERS AT $375 EACH, AND ITEM NO. 61, COVERING 24 FILM HOLDERS AT $2.90 EACH. UPON NOTING THAT THE TWO OTHER BIDS RECEIVED FOR ITEM NO. 17 WERE EACH IN THE UNIT PRICE OF $540, AND THAT THE FIVE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED FOR ITEM NO. 61 RANGED FROM $15 TO $16.50 EACH, A REQUEST WAS MADE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO THE HAYNES CAMERA CENTER FOR A VERIFICATION OF ITS BID ON THESE TWO ITEMS. THE COMPANY REPLIED THAT ERRORS HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON ITEMS NOS. 17 AND 61 AND REQUESTED THAT ITS BID FOR ITEM NO. 17 BE WITHDRAWN AND ITS BID FOR ITEM NO. 61 BE CORRECTED TO READ $15.35 INSTEAD OF $2.90 EACH.

IN RESPONSE TO THE SAME INVITATION EASTMAN KODAK STORES, INC., WASHINGTON, D.C., SUBMITTED A BID DATED JANUARY 30, 1964, OFFERING TO FURNISH, AMONG OTHERS, ITEM NO. 59, COVERING TWO CONTACT PRINTERS AT $670 EACH. SIX OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR THE ITEM RANGING FROM $770 TO $895 EACH. SUBSEQUENT TO THE OPENING OF THE BIDS EASTMAN KODAK STORES, INC., BY LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 20, 1964, ALLEGED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON ITEM NO. 59 AND REQUESTED THAT ITS PRICE OF $670 EACH BE CORRECTED TO $769 EACH.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICE IMMEDIATELY SUSPECTED AN ERROR IN THE BID OF THE HAYNES CAMERA CENTER ON BOTH ITEMS NOS. 17 AND 61. THIS WAS WARRANTED, OF COURSE, UPON A COMPARISON OF BIDS WHICH SHOWS THAT THE BID OF THE HAYNES CAMERA CENTER WAS OUT OF LINE WITH ALL OF THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED ON BOTH ITEMS NOS. 17 AND 61. IN ALLEGING THE ERRORS THE COMPANY EXPLAINED THAT THEY OCCURRED WHEN IT BID ON A DIFFERENT MODEL DENSITIMER THAN THAT SPECIFIED FOR ITEM NO. 17; ALSO, THAT IT HAD MISREAD THE DESCRIPTION FOR ITEM NO. 61 AND QUOTED A PRICE ON "FILM HANGERS" INSTEAD OF "FILM HOLDERS.' LIKEWISE, SINCE THE BID OF $670 EACH OF EASTMAN KODAK STORES, INC., FOR ITEM NO. 59 WAS $100 LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOW BID, WHEREAS ONLY A $125 DIFFERENTIAL EXISTED BETWEEN ALL SIX OF THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED IT MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT THE BID OF EASTMAN KODAK STORES, INC., WAS OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED FOR THIS ITEM. THE CORPORATION EXPLAINED THAT THE ERROR OCCURRED WHEN ITS BID WAS BASED ON AN OLD PRICE LIST WHICH NOW IS CONSIDERABLY UNDER NET COST.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THERE CAN BE LITTLE, IF ANY, DOUBT THAT THE ERRORS HAVE BEEN MADE, AS ALLEGED, AND SINCE THE ERRORS WERE PROMPTLY ALLEGED AND SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD--- BUT THE INTENDED BIDS FOR ITEMS NOS. 59 AND 61 ARE NOT SUFFICIENTLY ESTABLISHED TO WARRANT CORRECTION--- THE QUOTATIONS OF THE HAYNES CAMERA CENTER FOR ITEMS NOS. 17 AND 61 AND THE QUOTATION OF EASTMAN KODAK STORES, INC., FOR ITEM NO. 59, MAY BE DISREGARDED.

RETURNED HEREWITH, AS REQUESTED, ARE ALL ENCLOSURES FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 26, 1964.